Editorial: Anybody wanna buy some data?

Editorial: Anybody wanna buy some data?

I have learned more about you all than I ever could have hoped. 

I know your age, year of study, major, whether you went straight from high school to uni, how prepared you felt starting uni, the most interesting paper you took, whether you work while you study, how much work impacts your grades, how much you trust the University of Otago, how much you trust OUSA, how much your parents support your choice of study, how many weeks it’s been since you read a book, the political party you voted for in the last election, whether you’re involved in any groups for political or social change, whether you believe students should receive more financial support from the government, how much existential dread climate change fills you with, whether you believe you will ever be able to afford a house, how often you drink alcohol, your preferred method of caffeine consumption, whether you smoke cigarettes, whether you vape, your favourite vape flavour, which drugs you’ve tried once, which drugs you consume regularly, how many items of fruit you consume regularly, whether you think you have more or less sex than your peers, whether you’ve worked for the Uni before, whether you use the heat pump more than your flatmates realise, your sexual orientation, your gender, whether you consider yourself of the LGBTQ+ community, how you feel about LGBTQ+ issues, your racial identity, whether you consider yourself a person of colour, how you feel about racial issues, and how your day has been.

That’s a lot of information and thank you for sharing it. Those were most of the questions that we asked in the Critic Te Arohi Census 2021. From voting preferences to sexual preferences, we asked you about your lives, and 439 of you came through. 

I did not expect so many of you to be willing to risk it all for some Mild Orange & Wax Mustang tickets, but you did. You opened up and gave us some insightful responses that will help us fine tune our journalism going forward, because now we know more about our readers and Otago students in general. I was surprised to find that people trust OUSA more than the Uni, that 46.2% of you reckon you’ll be able to afford a house one day, and that 16.6% of you smoke cigarettes “only when you’re drinking”. 

You can read more information about the census in Elliot’s excellent commentary on the results (and thanks to Elliot for putting the census together and collating the responses).

To the one person who answered everything with some variation of “your mum”, I appreciate your commitment to the bit and your resistance to anyone trying to collect your data. More of us should take your approach when random organisations like student magazines try and collect your information for nefarious purposes.

Thusly I declare the Critic Te Arohi Census 2021 a roaring success. Hope you had a good Re-O Week.

If anyone is interested, I have a large amount of information about 439 University of Otago students that I’d be happy to sell you for the right price. Get in touch at critic@critic.co.nz and make me an offer.

This article first appeared in Issue 15, 2021.
Posted 2:12pm Sunday 18th July 2021 by Erin Gourley.